Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Jan. 8

The Young Bucks and the rest of the WrestleKingdom 9 card were a subject this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: Jan. 8, 2015
Run Time: 1:22:00
Guest: None

Summary: The show begins with David Shoemaker and Peter Rosenberg more or less making small talk, including a bit of back-and-forth about the various financially-based Mike Rotunda gimmicks. They eventually take a look at the Jan. 5 RAW and discuss changes to the WWE commentary teams. Rosenberg brings up a Jake Roberts documentary before they tackle WrestleKingdom 9. Following that they answer a few listener questions, which includes a look at the Royal Rumble WWE Title match. The final segment is Rosenberg’s thoughts about WWE’s recent Randy Savage DVD.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker on the Young Bucks: “I never can get their names straight. But the one with the brown hair has the most s-eating grin in the history of mankind. I want to punch him in the face more than Bo Dallas. But I think that’s a good thing. I think that that’s part of the shtick. They’re just so hateable. Maybe that’s my problem with them, I live in kayfabe too much.”

Why you should listen: There’s far less focus than usual on the preceding RAW, and far more focus on New Japan than any previous episode of this podcast. The brief stuff about the Roberts doc will be appealing to anyone who has followed any part of The Snake’s career, and Rosenberg has some excellent insights about Savage gleaned from the documentary, which are extra timely given the announcement of Savage’s pending WWE Hall of Fame induction.

Why you should skip it: I’m no NJPW expert, but even I found Rosenberg anxious to move on from talking about WK9 — likely because he hadn’t yet watched the whole show. Shoemaker had and was ready to rave about its success, but Rosenberg got bored once his co-host started naming too many Japanese stars. And even before that the RAW talk was almost entirely unnecessary, and the first 10 minutes of the show are like watching someone else look up stuff on Wikipedia.

Final thoughts: This episode could have been improved by skipping any and all RAW talk (or maybe nothing more than discussing Booker T on color commentary) and if Rosenberg had actually watched WK9 before recording. It’s fine if he doesn’t want to take the time to experience the show, but then he should just let Shoemaker have the floor unaided, or maybe we’d all be better off if Shoemaker just wrote about the event for Grantland. Ultimately there’s about 30 minutes of decent stuff in an 80-minute episode, and it’s not exactly consecutive contiguous. And that’s a better ratio than some weeks.